This week on The Wrap, dive into news from the “pros”, Oppo and Beats, that is, as we look at Oppo’s Find X5 Pro and the Beats Fit Pro. Plus Samsung’s S22+, Sony’s PS VR 2, Intel’s latest chips, and more, all in five.
It’s the very end of February 2022 and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and as February shifts into March, the year’s mobile phones are properly kicking off in a good way. Not only are we expecting plenty of new mobiles at next week’s Mobile World Congress tech show, but we’re even learning about some ahead of that.
For instance, Oppo used this week to announce its major phones of the year, sitting in the Find X5 range. While last year heralded the Find X3 Pro for the brand, this year we’re skipping a number, jumping straight into the X5, not the X4.
And regardless of a number jump, the phone is clearly an evolution of the last model, which focused on cameras, albeit in a different way. In last year’s X3, you got a decent set of cameras including a microscopic camera, but this year, that’s gone. In its place are two 50 megapixel cameras for wide and ultra wide, a lower resolution zoom camera, and a special chip from Oppo built to process images in part with machine learning.
Oppo is also talking up its collaboration with legendary camera house Hasselblad, but not in a big way. While Blad is known for its camera glass, Oppo is using Hasselblad for its software expertise, incorporating image styles and grain, plus some of the understanding of light.
The Find X5 Pro will also come in a fancy design with a fast chip and a big 6.7 inch screen, plus support for 5G, and it’s about the nicest of Oppo’s models this year, though there will be two other Find X5 models on the way, all arriving within the next few months.
Before then, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 range will launch, arriving as early as this week, and while we still need to spend time with the Ultra model, we’ve taken a look at the model more for everyone else in the S22 Plus, a fairly sizeable 6.6 inch phone sporting a lot of updates from the S21 before it, just not as much as what the Ultra delivers.
You won’t find the 108 megapixel camera here nor will you find support for Samsung’s S-Pen stylus. What you will find is a nice screen, a 50 megapixel camera, and a design that has been cleaned up quite well to help the phone feel really well built and thought out.
We also found improvements to the battery in the S22 Plus, with a great system spec that only lagged a little at times, with a camera that handles itself well, though not necessarily with a staggering set of improvements against the competition. At least the battery feels like a better result than last year, getting a little over a day of life, though you’ll likely want to charge it nightly.
Mostly, the S22 Plus feels like a good phone, improving things on from last year, though it’s hardly game changing, and may give Oppo room to move with that Find X5 Pro we just mentioned.
They weren’t all that happened this week, though.
Sony gave more hints on what we can expect from its PlayStation VR 2 headset, and shock horror, it looks like the PlayStation 5 console, which you’ll also need. If you have one, great. And if not, here’s hoping Sony sorts out its supply chain issues before the new VR headset arrives later in the year.
Intel launched its latest 12th generation Core processors for laptops this week, with as many as 250 new computers expected from March, though not likely appearing all at once. Some of the new chips will have both performance and efficiency cores, so hopefully that means better battery life amidst great performance, which might be what Intel needs to take on Apple’s own computer chips.
And locally, Zagg announced a bunch of Australian stores will be able to cut screen protection when you visit places like Vodafone and Optus for any device, while Foxtel noted more 4K streams were happening for sports this year. There’s no word on when 8K will happen, but one thing at a time.
Finally, some sound news, as HyperX readies some DTS and Dolby Atmos capable headphones for gamers in the 159 buck Cloud Core Wireless, Dali preps a wireless speaker in 750 dollar Katch G2, and we’re reviewing one more gadget on this show, the Beats Fit Pro earphones.
And we need to say it right off the bat, these were a total surprise. We’ve liked Beats earphones in the past, but these were so good, we really weren’t expecting it.
At $299, they’re twenty dollars more than last year’s Apple AirPods 3, but arrive with noise cancellation, something the AirPods 3 don’t have.
In fact, at a hundred bucks lower than the AirPods Pro, they are basically the same device, except with an Android app and without the stem or a wireless charger.
There’s support for spatial audio in Apple Music, even with head tracking on Apple Music, something you don’t get on Android yet, though Android support is something the Beats Fit Pro provides in some form.
There’s also 6 houses of battery life with an extra 18 hours in the case, and they sound great. There’s a great sense of balance, with pretty much the same sound as what’s in the AirPods Pro, but for a little less.
Granted, Apple’s AirPods are over two years old and due for an update but for the price, the Beats Fit Pro nails it, and are worth checking out.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode appears every week on LiSTNR, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, but otherwise, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.